CHESTCHEST NewsCHEST asks Congress to extend a 3.75% Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment adjustment

CHEST asks Congress to extend a 3.75% Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment adjustment

The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST), and 280 national and state organizations, came together to ask members of Congress to extend a 3.75% Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment adjustment through calendar year (CY) 2022. On Thursday, December 9, Congress voted 59-34 in support of the extension which was set to expire December 31, 2021.

This payment adjustment, made as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, will continue to help avoid significant disruptions to care for Medicare beneficiaries and provide a lifeline for health care providers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stress the health care delivery system.

From the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, “In order to support physicians and other professionals in adjusting to changes in payment for physicians' services during 2021, the Secretary shall increase fee schedules under subsection (b) that establish payment amounts for such services furnished on or after January 1, 2021, and before January 1, 2022, by 3.75%.”

As physicians continue to face many uncertainties associated with the outdated MPFS, as well as the ongoing difficulties associated with COVID-19, this letter calls for Congress to make an investment in the nation’s health care delivery system by extending the 3.75% conversion factor adjustment through CY 2022.

Read the full letter below.

This communication is the result of advocacy efforts driven by CHEST on behalf of patients with lung disease and the clinicians who treat them. Members interested in participating in committee activities should contact advocacy@chestnet.org.

 

November 29, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, The Honorable Charles Schumer, The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and McCarthy:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing over one million physician and non-physician health care providers, thank you for your ongoing support for Medicare beneficiaries and the health care provider community. Congress’ commitment to ensuring greater stability within the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2021, via a 3.75% payment adjustment for all services, avoided significant disruptions to care for Medicare beneficiaries and provided a lifeline for health care providers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stress the healthcare delivery system.

Unfortunately, this temporary measure did not address the ongoing structural problems with the MPFS, and the provider community is again bracing for steep cuts in 2022, which could result in many beneficiaries losing timely access to essential health care services. To avoid this scenario, Congress must act before the end of the year to extend the 3.75% payment adjustment through at least CY 2022.

Our organizations would welcome the opportunity to work with Congress to address long-term challenges associated with Medicare payment policy, especially the budget neutrality provision in the MPFS that has precipitated these steep cuts. The undersigned groups have been encouraged by ongoing discussions with congressional leadership and staff, who acknowledged the need to maintain and address payment stability for physician and non-physician providers who serve older Americans.

Further acknowledging this issue’s urgency and critical nature, nearly 250 bipartisan House members signed a “Dear Colleague” letter (finalized October 2021) — spearheaded by Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) — calling on Congress to take action to avert these and other automatic Medicare payment cuts before the end of the year. Following the release of the Calendar Year 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule that indicated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow this payment adjustment to expire at the end of 2021, Reps. Bera, MD and Bucshon, MD ultimately introduced H.R. 6020, bipartisan legislation to extend the 3.75% update to the conversion factor for an additional year. Millions of seniors rely on the Medicare program, and we must work to ensure it remains a robust and dependable option for those who need it the most.

With the legislative calendar waning, we urge Congress to make a critical investment in the nation’s health care delivery system by embracing swift action to address the imminent cuts to Medicare payments by extending the 3.75% payment adjustment through at least CY 2022. Maintaining this level of funding will provide much-needed stability for physician and non-physician providers, as well as their patients, and provide an opportunity for renewed discussions regarding long-term systemic reforms in the New Year. We remain committed to partnering with Congress to identify and advance these critical reforms and appreciate your continued support of the health care providers on whom older Americans rely.

Sincerely,

National Organizations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation

Alliance for Recovery Care

Alliance of Specialty Medicine

Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American Academy of Audiology

American Academy of Dermatology Association

American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Home Care Medicine

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

American Association for the Surgery of Trauma

American Association of Clinical Endocrinology

American Association of Clinical Urologists

American Association of Hip & Knee Surgeons

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

American Chiropractic Association

American Clinical Neurophysiology Society

American Cochlear Implant Alliance

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American College of Cardiology

American College of Chest Physicians

American College of Emergency Physicians

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

American College of Gastroenterology

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics 3

American College of Mohs Surgery

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Osteopathic Internists

American College of Osteopathic Surgeons

American College of Physicians

American College of Radiology

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Surgeons

American Gastroenterological Association

American Geriatrics Society

American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living

American Medical Association

American Medical Group Association

American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA)

American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

American Medical Women's Association

American Occupational Therapy Association

Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

American Optometric Association

American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

American Osteopathic Association

American Physical Therapy Association

American Podiatric Medical Association

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychological Association

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery

American Society for Radiation Oncology

American Society for Surgery of the Hand

American Society of Addiction Medicine

American Society of Anesthesiologists

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

American Society of Echocardiography

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Neuroradiology

American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

American Society of Pediatric Nephrology

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Society of Retina Specialists

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

American Urogynecologic Society

American Urological Association

American Vein & Lymphatic Society

American Venous Forum

Association for Clinical Oncology

Association for Quality Imaging 4

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Black Cardiologists

CardioVascular Coalition

Clinical Social Work Association

Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations

College of American Pathologists

Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Dialysis Vascular Access Coalition

Digestive Health Physicians Association

Emergency Department Practice Management Association

Endocrine Alliance

Endocrine Society

Healthcare Nutrition Council

Heart Failure Society of America

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Infusion Providers Alliance

International Society for Advancement of Spine Surgery

Large Urology Group Practice Association

Medical Group Management Association

NANOS (North American Neuro Ophthalmology Society)

National Assoc of Rehab Providers & Agencies

National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL)

National Association of Social Workers

National Association of Spine Specialists

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

Obesity Medicine Association

Outpatient Endovascular and Interventional Society

Physicians Advocacy Institute

Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association

PTPN

Radiology Business Management Association

Renal Physicians Association

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions

Society for Vascular Surgery

Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons

Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography

Society of General Internal Medicine

Society of Gynecologic Oncology

Society of Interventional Radiology

Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery

Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Spine Intervention Society

The American Society of Breast Surgeons

The American Society of Dermatopathology

The American Society of General Surgeons

The Fibroid Coalition

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

The Society of Trauma Nurses

Trauma Center Association of America 5

United Specialists for Patient Access

State Organizations

Alabama Cancer Congress

Alabama Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Alaska Oncology and Hematology, LLC

Arizona Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

Arizona Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Arizona Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society

Arkansas Medical Society

Arkansas Rheumatology Association

Association of Northern California Oncologists

California Chapter of the American College of Cardiology

California Medical Association

California Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery

Cardiology Elite PC

CardioVascular Consultants of Montana PLLC

Colorado Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Colorado Dermatologic Society

Colorado Medical Society

Commonwealth Neurological Society

Connecticut Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Connecticut Oncology Association

DC Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Delaware Cardiovascular Associates

Delaware Society for Clinical Oncology

Denali Oncology Group

Dermatological Society of New Jersey

Empire State Hematology & Oncology Society

Florida Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery

Georgia Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Georgia Neurological Society

Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology (GASCO)

Great Lakes Society of Diabetes and Endocrinology

Hawaii Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Hawaii Medical Association

Hawaii Society of Clinical Oncology

Healthcare Nutrition Council

Idaho Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Idaho Medical Association

Idaho Society of Clinical Oncology

Illinois Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

Illinois Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Illinois Dermatological Society

Illinois State Medical Society

Illinois State Neurological Society

Indiana Academy of Dermatology

Indiana Chapter, American College of Cardiology 6

Indiana Federation of Ambulatory Surgical Centers

Indiana Neurological Society

Indiana Oncology Society

Iowa Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Iowa Neurological Association

Iowa Oncology Society

Kansas Chapter, American College of Radiology

Kansas Society of Clinical Oncology

Kentucky Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Kentucky Medical Association

Kentucky Society of Clinical Oncology

Louisiana Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Louisiana Oncology Society

Louisiana Urological Society

Maine Medical Center

Maryland Ambulatory Surgery Association

Maryland American College of Cardiology Advocacy Group

Maryland Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Maryland Dermatologic Society

Maryland Oncology Hematology

Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology

Massachusetts Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Massachusetts Medical Society

Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists

MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society

Medical Association of Georgia

Medical Association of the State of Alabama

Medical Oncology Association of Southern California

Medical Society of Delaware

Medical Society of New Jersey

Medical Society of the State of New York

Michigan Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Michigan Dermatological Society

Michigan Neurological Association

Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology

Minnesota Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Minnesota Medical Association

Minnesota Society of Clinical Oncology

Mississippi Dermatologic Society

Mississippi Oncology Society

Mississippi State Medical Association

Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

Missouri and Kansas Neurological Society

Missouri Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Missouri Oncology Society

Missouri State Medical Association

Montana Academy of Dermatology

Montana Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Montana State Oncology Society 7

Nebraska Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Nebraska Dermatologic Society

Nebraska Medical Association

Nebraska Neurological Society

Nebraska Oncology Society

Nevada Heart and Vascular Center

Nevada Oncology Society

New England Chapter, American College of Cardiology

New Jersey Chapter, American College of Cardiology

New Mexico Society of Clinical Oncology

New York Chapter, American College of Cardiology

New York State Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery

North Carolina Dermatology Association

North Carolina Medical Society

North Carolina Neurological Society

North Carolina Oncology Association

North Dakota Medical Association

Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society

Ohio Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Ohio Association of Rheumatology

Ohio Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Ohio Hematology Oncology Society

Ohio River Region Society of Endocrinology

Ohio State Medical Association

Oklahoma Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc.

Oregon Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Oregon Dermatologic Society

Oregon Medical Association

Oregon Society of Medical Oncology

Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology

Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association

Pennsylvania Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Pennsylvania Neurological Society

Pennsylvania Society of Oncology & Hematology

Rheumatology Alliance of Louisiana

Rheumatology Association of Iowa

Rhode Island Dermatology Society

Rhode Island Medical Society

Rhode Island Neurological Society

Rocky Mountain Oncology Society

Society of Utah Medical Oncologists

South Carolina Oncology Society

South Dakota Chapter, American College of Cardiology

South Dakota State Medical Association

Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Cardiology

Tennessee Dermatology Society

Tennessee Medical Association

Tennessee Oncology Practice Society

Tennessee Rheumatology Society 8

Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society

Texas Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Texas Dermatological Society

Texas Medical Association

Texas Neurological Society

Texas Society of Clinical Oncology

The Arizona Clinical Oncology Society

The Medical Oncology Society of New Jersey

Utah Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Vermont Medical Society

Virginia Association of Hematology Oncology

Virginia Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Virginia Dermatology Society

Virginia Urological Society

Washington Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Washington State Medical Oncology Society

Washington State Neurological Society

West Virginia Oncology Society

West Virginia State Medical Association

Wisconsin Association of Hematology and Oncology

Wisconsin Chapter American College of Cardiology

Wisconsin Medical Society

Wisconsin Neurological Society

Wyoming Chapter, American College of Cardiology

Wyoming State Oncology Society

Cc:

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives